554 posts categorized "Current Affairs"

March 05, 2017

COLE IN PITTSBURGH

Cole Licks Lips In Pittsburgh

Cole's Andy Warhol Screentest

Cole 3

January 26, 2017

NEW BEVERLY CINEMA SCHEDULE FOR FEBRUARY 2017

It's no secret that I hit the New Beverly when ever I'm in L.A. You should too. This place is awesome!

NEW BEVERLY SCHEDULE FEBRUARY 2017

January 01, 2017

STUPID FILM TITLE TRENDS

Bathroom-toiletYou can tell by its title that David Frankel's "Collateral Beauty" sucks, just as you know in advance that Matthew Ornstein's "Accidental Courtesy" will be a dog.

This latest inane trend in insipid film titles will most surely include such headings as "Inconsequential Ambivalence," "Incidental Gratitude," "Insufferable Poetry," "Casual Emotion," "Improbable Noblesse Oblige," Off-Hand Persuasion," "Unnoticed Flatulence," "Pointless Determination," "Irreparable Respect," "Obligatory Chivalry," "Unintended Worship," and "Indolent Elegance."

My advice is to avoid any such movies like the plague. With any luck this trend will die the dog's death it so richly deserves before it sends us all barfing into our respective toilets. 

December 08, 2016

Martin Scorsese Interview on Trump and the Pope

November 30, 2016

Cole's DVD Collectio

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November 19, 2016

SYNDICATED COLUMN: Trump’s Fascism Picks Up Where Obama’s Leaves Off

Fascists Donald Trump wants to deport three million illegal immigrants, and he’s willing to split up families to do it. Expect resistance: street protests, networks of safe houses, American citizens willing to risk prison to hide undocumented workers.

Barack Obama deported two million — more than any other president. Thousands of kids lost their parents. Yet demonstrations were few. Anglo solidarity was nowhere to be found. Same action, different reaction. Why? As we’ve seen under Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, progressives go to sleep when Democrats are in the White House.

Trump will be deplorable. But as the unrest that followed his victory signals, he’ll have a salutary effect on American politics: Liberals will resist the same fascist horrors for which they’ve been making excuses under Obama (and would have continued to tolerate under Hillary Clinton).

Ironically, their struggle will be made all the more challenging due to the fascist moves promulgated by Barack Obama, a president revered by liberals — but whose administration has been characterized by a stream of fascist policies.

Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA and other government agencies are spying on all of our communications: phone calls, email, texts, video, even snail mail. But the fiercest reactions came from people outside the U.S. It was 2013 and Obama was president. For the most part liberals — the political faction you’d expect to raise hell — trusted their charming first black president not to abuse his powers.

Trump will inherit Obama’s Orwellian surveillance apparatus. During the campaign, he said “I wish I had that power.”

When Obama took over from Bush in 2009, he issued a symbolic denunciation of the torture his predecessor had legitimized and institutionalized. In practice, however, nothing changed. Sending a clear message that he approved of their actions, Obama ordered his Justice Department not to prosecute anyone for waterboarding or other “enhanced interrogation techniques,” saying infamously that it was time to “look forward, as opposed to looking backwards.” He went to Langley to tell CIA agents he’d watch their backs. He refused to issue a presidential executive order banning torture by the CIA.

Trump will take over that bureaucratic infrastructure of torture, including the legal opinions issued by Bush’s White House counsel that Obama failed to annul. During the campaign, Trump pledged to bring back waterboarding and “a hell of a lot worse,” whatever that means.

Obama

Upon taking office Obama tepidly attempted to follow up on his campaign promise to close Guantánamo concentration camp. But he caved in the face of congressional opposition. Though Obama has managed to winnow down the number of inmates in America’s Cuban gulag to double digits, his lackadaisical unwillingness to expend political capital on the issue has left the camp open. It has also legitimized the formerly unthinkable practice of holding prisoners indefinitely without charging them with a crime or putting them on trial.

Trump says he’ll keep the camp open, expand it, and “load it up with some bad dudes,” including American citizens whose politics he doesn’t care for.

Part of the justification given for indefinite detention is the Bush-era Military Commissions Act of 2006, which eliminated the right of habeas corpus, the right to a speedy and fair trial enshrined in Anglo-American law for eight centuries. Under the MCA, the U.S. government can throw you into a concentration camp where you’ll never see your family or a lawyer. As far as we know, Obama never availed himself of this power.

Do you trust Trump to exercise similar restraint? Thanks to Obama’s failure to get rid of the MCA, Trump may make good on his promise to disappear U.S. citizens.

Obama has vastly expanded Bush’s program of drone assassinations of political opponents to nasty American client states like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia. His Tuesday “kill list” star chamber has issued hits against thousands of people; 98% of the victims have been hapless bystanders.

Could President Trump deploy drones against American citizens (or non-citizens) on American soil? Yes, he could, says Obama’s attorney general Eric Holder. Obama could have declared that he — and future presidents — did not have that power. Better still, he could have asked Congress to pass a law banning domestic drone killings. Instead, he went golfing.

From what we know of Trump’s likely cabinet appointments, the next few years promise to devolve into a dystopian nightmare of authoritarian repression the likes of which few Americans ever imagined possible. As we head into the maelstrom, it will be tempting to look back fondly upon the Obama years as a period of relative calm and liberalism.

But don’t forget the truth. Fascism under Trump will merely continue Obama’s fascism with a smiley face — a fascism that we let him get away with for far too long.

(Ted Rall is author of “Trump: A Graphic Biography,” an examination of the life of the Republican presidential nominee in comics form. You can support Ted’s hard-hitting political cartoons and columns and see his work first by sponsoring his work on Patreon.)

November 05, 2016

FILMSTRUCK STREAMING WITH COLE SMITHEY DEBUTS ON FORBES NOV. 10, 2016

FILMSTRUCK STREAMING

FilmStruck is a brand new streaming service collaboration between Turner Classic Movies, The Criterion Collection, and Kino Lorber. FilmStruck represents the first time in history that such a broad spectrum of classic films has been so readily available for film-lovers to consume.

On Thursday, November 10, 2016 FILMSTRUCK STREAMING WITH COLE SMITHEY will premiere on Forbes. The new program joins Cole Smithey's existing Forbes [weekly] video series NETFLIX NOW!. The FilmStruck and Netflix programs will switch off each week.

I can't believe FilmStruck is here. What a great streaming service. Film-lovers go straight to heaven.  

November 02, 2016

MATT DILLON TO STAR IN VON TRIER'S LASTEST FILM

The-House-that-Jack-Built

Lars Von Trier has cast the always-terrific Matt Dillon in his 15th film "The House That Jack Built." Dillon will share leading man duties with Bruno Ganz. These two equally matched actors will film Von Trier's in Trollhättan, Sweden and Copenhagen, Denmark.

Von Trier describes the film as follows, "USA in the 1970s. We follow the highly intelligent Jack over a span of 12 years and are introduced to the murders that define Jack's development as a serial killer. We experience the story from Jack's point of view, while he postulates each murder is an artwork in itself. As the inevitable police intervention is drawing nearer, he is taking greater and greater risks in his attempt to create the ultimate artwork. Along the way we experience Jack's descriptions of his personal condition, problems and thoughts through a recurring conversation with the unknown Verge - a grotesque mixture of sophistry mixed with an almost childlike self-pity and psychopathic explanations. The House That Jack Built is a dark and sinister story, yet presented through a philosophical and occasional humorous tale."

Matt-dillon

Although unconfirmed, it seems likely that Ganz will play the serial killer, but it may very well be the younger Dillon who dons the mask of the '70s era psychopath. Jack the Ripper is getting some serious competition. 

November 01, 2016

FILMSTRUCK

FilmStruck has launched. This streaming collaboration between Kino Lorber, Criterion, and Turner Classic Movies is every film-lovers dream. This is going to be HUGE I tell ya!

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